Home News Ángeles Flores Payon, last female militiaman in Spanish Civil War, dies at...

Ángeles Flores Payon, last female militiaman in Spanish Civil War, dies at 105


In 1946, she married Graciano Rozada Vallina, a miner and socialist activist who was captured by Franco’s police while serving in the Republican Army, but managed to escape and flee to France the following year. She soon joined him in Saint-Éloy-les-Mines, where she lived until Vallina’s death in 2003. That same year, after 56 years in exile, she returned to Gijón to bury his ashes.

she is Survival She has two children, María Ángeles Rozada and José Antonio Rozada, two grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

Ms. Flores Payon, who is in her 90s describe Described by El País as “petite, smiling, charming and sure-footed,” she posed for selfies at the Madrid Book Festival, where she presented her memoir, Memories of Ángeles Flores Peón: Maricuela Published in 2009, “Las Sorpresas de Maricuela” and in 2013, “The Surprise of Maricuela”.

“She wrote her memoirs in France,” said her son, Mr. Rosada. “That was in the years when we were growing up. I think she started writing her memoirs in the late 1970s. We bought her a typewriter and she learned how to use it. She was an energetic woman with a strong desire to write. She wrote several pages. She thought it was important to write a memoir for the dead so that young people today could share the memory.”

Ms. Flores-Paion remained committed to socialism, gender equality and gay rights. “She always said: ‘Be careful. If we don’t unite, the far right will come back,’ ” her son recalled. She remained proud of her role as a key custodian of Spain’s memory during decades of state-enforced amnesia during the Franco era.

“A nation without memory is a nation without soul.” she says. “Spain has no soul. We can’t forget, and we can’t resent. Because if we do, we’ll become like them.”

Rachel Chaundler contributed reporting from Madrid.

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